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« The 'politics of and' | Main | Localism »


Donal Blaney

I couldn't have said it better myself! The next election will only be won if we have a vibrant conservative movement working for the election of principled conservatives. If we fail to energise and enthuse small c conservatives, we will not deserve power.


If you had to describe what conservatism means to you in just two words how would you respond?

For me, it is "small government"

It is for that reason that I seek a party that:

a: Seeks to withdraw from the massive, remote central project that is the EU because it cannot be reformed to work in a small government way. If it could, I would be pushing for reform but it cannot.

b: Opposes any form of state funding of political parties as this replaces independence parties with big goverment state vehicles.

c: Opposes a central national ID database.
One great big inefficient and counter-productive, large government project that increases central control.

Unfortunately, the current incarnation of the Tory Party, the CamCons, seems to be pro-EU, has proposed state funding of political parties and has not opposed the national id database.

John Hustings

I think it is difficult to "energise" the conservative movement when the Tory Party is disowning conservative ideas. Nevertheless, I think this is why we shouldn't be distracted by party political loyalties and continue to espouse what we believe in -- even when no political party does so.

Simon C

"If you had to describe what conservatism means to you in just two words how would you respond?"

I would demand three:

"Freedom, family, nation".


Thank you for an excellent article Tim. Much of this is about challenging and changing the dominant liberal cultural consensus. It seems to me that this objective, together with establishing a self-confident & unashamed conservative alternative, is the key task to which all the different elements of the conservative movement, in their own spheres, should be devoted.

Neil Reddin

Spot on.

Conservatism, to me:

Individual freedom through a smaller state, and the preservation of that freedom through strong defence.

C Hodgson

Individual freedom, a strong state, economic liberalism

Wat Tyler

Excellent summary. I don't know why it's taken the conservative coalition so long to get round to it, but I think we have finally realised we can't leave everything to the Party. Plus, it's so much more fun getting stuck in rather than fretting and griping on the sidelines.

Thank Gore for the internet.


Tradition, order, liberty, patriotism and capitalism would be the central tenets I'd highlight.

matt wright

I am fascinated by this partcular thread. It is an extremely important thread. Time and time again in research the public (including our own supporters) are telling us that they do not understand what the Conservative Party stands for. Some of the posts above might seem to touch on what we stand for but not in a way that makes much sense to most people today. Mostly they just seem to be lists of one word concepts. Take freedom (which comes up often above), of course this is important but people today are much more savvy - they know that collective or community action is also important. To me freedom has to be balanced by responsibility or it is almost meaningless. Somehow we are not expressing in simple and readily accessable terms what 21st century Conservatism should be. This is what we and DC must do,


Simon C

I would agree with that Matt, although the restricted one-word concepts stem from Chad's invitation at the beginning of the thread.

For me, limiting myself to 3 words to sum up conservatism, "family", as the bedrock of community, is the way to introduce the framework of mutual obligations responsibilities and support that we all need to nourish. Freedom does not operate in a vacuum. The measure of our maturity and character is about how we use our freedom.

John Hustings

I agree with you Matt. I'd like DC to be articulating what Conservativism stands for. As you rightly say, most of the public is ignorant of what it means.

Sadly, Cameron seems more interested in setting up artificial dragons to slay in order to give the false impression of "change", rather than articulate to the wider public just how attractive traditional conservative values really are.


I have to disagree with this thread as by splitting into little groups(with all of them having their own little Hitlers with no control over them) will only do one thing" keep Labour in". Its nice to have a debate but with first past the post any chance of having a second right wing or centre right party will kill us off quicker than anything that Blair and co can do?
As for Cameron going on about more Gas powered stations make me sick after what happened with Ukraine but at least Tymoshenko came second in the election, with this does this blog support her or Our Ukraine?

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